Audi shines in Montreal

An absolute thriller in the Montreal ePrix sees Lucas di Grassi clinch the Formula E world title.

A brilliant drive in Montreal has seen Audi driver Lucas di Grassi triumph to cap off a superb 2017 Formula E season and take the championship.

30 July, 2017

A dream come true for Lucas di Grassi and Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport in Montreal, as di Grassi clinches the Formula E crown for the 2016/17 season.

A lights-to-flag win in the first of the two races saw him not only close the deficit between series leader Sébastian Buemi and himself, but take the lead for the first time in the season.

His pole position and strong drive on the Saturday set the platform for a thrilling season finale, and with di Grassi and his teammate Daniel Abt starting from the third row and Buemi back in 14th in the second race, a sixth place finish was all the Brazilian needed to clinch the weekend and the series.

“Today is the best day in my career,” the new Formula E Champion enthused after the race. “I’ve believed in Formula E from day one because the world, including motorsport, is changing. Three years ago, we won the first Formula E race in Beijing and now finally the title as well. ABT Sportsline, Schaeffler and Audi Sport have done a perfect job – not least after the races in New York where we weren’t so strong. Here in Montreal, on the best race track Formula E has ever seen, we were fast from the beginning.” 

Following third place in Formula E’s inaugural year and runner up last year, Lucas di Grassi is the third champion in the world’s first all-electric racing series and, with a total of six victories and 20 podium results in 33 races, one of the most successful Formula E campaigners. 

In the 2016/2017 season, the Audi driver won two races, clinched three pole positions and seven podium places in twelve races. Only in Paris, di Grassi scored no points. In the end, this consistency was decisive in the title race, although his comebacks at the season opener in Hong Kong and on clinching victory in Mexico will remain equally unforgotten.

In addition to di Grassi’s victory, the result in Canada meant that Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport secured the runners up position in the teams’ classification for the season, making for a tremendous finish to the season and an incredibly strong position from which to head into the 2018 season.

“For me, Lucas di Grassi is currently the most complete driver in Formula E,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “What he showed in Montreal on Saturday was simply fantastic. After New York, there probably weren’t a lot of people expecting him to be able to turn the tables in the title race anymore. But Lucas never gave up for even a second and continually motivated the whole squad to deliver top performances. The entire team around Hans-Jürgen Abt and Thomas Biermaier did an outstanding job and Daniel Abt, who was beaten a little below his potential this year, drove strong races in Montreal too. This has been a tremendous finale and a good week on the whole for Formula E. That, after BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are going to follow us into this forward-thinking racing series underlines the growing importance of fully electric motorsport. I’m already looking forward to the opener of the new Formula E season in Hong Kong in December when our factory-backed commitment opens up a new chapter in Audi’s motorsport history. With ABT and Schaeffler as our partners we’re in a very good position in the increasingly tougher competition.”